1. Aleis

    Aleis Registered User

    Aug 8, 2013
    9
    I should know better as a social worker but dealing with 'my mum' feels so different. Mum refuses any help as she thinks she managed ok, she's never really had close friends, always just me and my children. She doesn't see that I ring and visit every day to offer reassurance, cook dinner, check meds, listen to phone messages, chuck away out of date food, sort post, pay bills. How can I get her to accept carers?
     
  2. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,287
    Cotswolds
    #2 Lindy50, May 21, 2015
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
    Hi Aleis and welcome to TP :(

    I am actually in a similar situation to you, having been a social worker for many years, and now struggling with my own mum. It does make me wonder how helpful I really was to other people over the years......

    But I digress. My mum also refused help and is also very dependent on me. I had hoped to be able to meet her needs, but about a year ago, realised that we both needed help. I discussed this with mum over and over again.....I have never seen her so angry ( or so disappointed), about anything before. No agreement was possible...

    So, putting her needs first, I went to see her GP, who was happy for me to talk to him. He arranged for blood tests which showed a minor infection, and that was my opportunity. I told mum that the doctor said she had to have help 'until she was better'. (Okay, a little white lie, I know). That was the start and since then she has mainly had one visit a day, for medication in the morning ( I asked the GP to arrange a nomad dosset box). It has been a constant struggle but she was losing weight and not drinking enough...got a chest infection....so again I said 'the GP says you have to eat/ drink better' and arranged lunch visits. February 2nd this year was the first time she accepted such a visit, I will never forget the thrill of it :cool:

    We're now struggling with personal care, which she is refusing.

    I can only say that I just couldn't give up, and that the GP has been great. The little white lies, and going against mum's wishes, contradict everything I believe in as a social worker, but for mum's sake it has had to be done. I concentrate now on trying to keep her content when I see her, instead of always rushing around doing practical tasks. We knit together, listen to CD's, even read poetry sometimes ( previously unheard of!!). Quality of life for mum is my main aim, and to achieve even some of this, I've just had to be strong and insist on care visits.

    I hope this may help, just a bit. Believe me, I know how hard it is!

    All the best :)

    Lindy xx
     
  3. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    806
    North East
    It depends on how your mum thinks. If she is the generous sort then ask her to help these people by allowing them to work. They are going to come and clean or whatever for her, you know she does it anyway and she can continue but these people need the work. If she is tight with money then say the same but it's free for her as the government pay for it. It's a new scheme but the people are thoroughly checked.
    Worth a try x good luck.
     
  4. SarahL

    SarahL Registered User

    Dec 1, 2012
    229
    I found it impossible to get my Mum to accept carers and in the end she was sectioned into hospital. It was not what I wanted and it broke my heart but she did finally get assessed thoroughly. She'd had her diagnosis for over two years at that stage. I am a year two student social worker btw and not sure I have much resilience left to complete the course! Regarding you Mum however, everyone's different and despite my Mum's refusals, maybe with some clever white lies and good support from the GP, you can get help for your Mum like Lindy to overcome this. Little lies do help calm anxiety and fears. Does your Mum have a diagnosis, if so the dementia team may be really good. Ours were and our GP was good in the end, but I had to keep calling and I did have to get to rock bottom first, which I do not recommend. My Mum is safe now and not so vulnerable as she's in a lovely care home. She's having her meds reviewed regularly. If your Mum is on meds, that's another thing that can help her as long as she's taking them regularly. If she's not on them, get the GP to assess her to see if anything can be prescribed to lessen her anxieties. Sarah
     
  5. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,593
    Yorkshire
    Forgive me, but I find that statement fascinating. Have you taken the opportunity of feeding the reality of a carer's situation back to your SS team?
     
  6. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,287
    SW London
    I will ditto that!
     
  7. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    1,249
    Me too. Do tell us more Lindy, if you feel able to do so of course. It sounds like a massive collision of theory and practice.

    Aleis, my mum never accepted carers. Her social worker was brilliant and between us we tried all kinds of things to make it happen but nothing worked. Sadly, her illness made her very paranoid about me and she later became very paranoid about my sons too, so trying to help her without her noticing our help and without us coming into the crossfire of her accusations was pretty much impossible. Dementia won that round.
     
  8. AliH1970

    AliH1970 Registered User

    May 22, 2015
    7
    Bromsgrove
    Can I be nosey and ask how she was sectioned? I was considering this as a serious option earlier this week as my dad was refusing respite care after a visit to hospital and my mum didn't want him to come home, but I had no idea how or if it was possible. :(:confused:

     
  9. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,287
    Cotswolds
    Hi all :)

    No worries Chemmy, Witzend, Delphie and co. I have to admit that this comment looks a little odd to me too. I typed it late last night, while tired, but it may nevertheless be a case of the truth coming out!

    I was trying to answer Aleis as a social worker who is now a carer. I have had to give up work, by the way, due a combination of my own health issues and looking after mum. I still miss it terribly.....I was always known as a workaholic.

    It may help to put my social work into context....I worked with adults, all adults, ie those with health problems, physical or learning disabilities, addictions or mental health problems, as well as people with dementia. Lots of my clients had capacity, and significantly, between 60% and 70% had no family carers at all. Many were effectively alone in the world, and as a social worker I became like a relative to some.....I'm not sure quite how to describe this but it's a fact. I would always try to find family, have been known to hover around hospital wards in the evening, sit at the back in churches, look through old Christmas cards, do whatever it took to help people find their place in the world. But for some, there was no-one, and they were stuck with me.

    So....as a social worker it was my job not only to assess needs, but also to fight to get these met in the best possible way for my clients. To be, in effect, an advocate for those less able to stand up for themselves.

    When I look back, I can see that where there were family carers, on the whole they were advocating for their loved ones. And where there was reduced ( or no) capacity, yes, we did have to tell little white lies. But it was always a last resort, and of course only done to enable a client to accept a necessary service, or to vastly improve their quality of life, if that could be done.

    So, that was how it was as a social worker. Now, as a carer for someone who lacks capacity, of course I have to tell those LWL's, and do whatever I can to support and care for mum. As a regular way of going about things, this feels totally different from a professional social work role. Though as I've said, I would have done it where necessary, it never dominated my work the way it dominates caring for someone with dementia.

    I hope this makes some sense and helps to explain my rather ill thought out remark :)

    And SarahL, I hope you can manage to finish your course - the profession needs committed people like you.

    All the best :)

    Lindy xx
     
  10. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,593
    Yorkshire
    Social workers sometimes come in for a lot of criticism on TP but I must say it's very heartening to hear from someone who was so clearly committed to the welfare of their clients. A difficult job ....and a true vocation.
     
  11. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,287
    Cotswolds
    #11 Lindy50, May 22, 2015
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
    Aw, Chemmy, thanks :eek: I feel privileged to have found a job that I loved so much :) x
     
  12. SarahL

    SarahL Registered User

    Dec 1, 2012
    229
    AliH, my Mum got sectioned because she would not accept dementia services or the GP into her house. She was going to the neighbours with her dressing gown on and she had called the Police on three consecutive nights telling them I'd locked her in her house and stolen all her jewellery. I arranged with dementia services for another assessment at her house and managed, by luck, on the day to allow the team in, who then sectioned her under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act. I had no idea that was going to happen, I thought they'd try and talk her into having care. It was terribly traumatic for both Mum and me and I will never forget that day as long as I live, sadly. I wouldn't recommend sectioning unless it's an absolute crisis and healthcare professionals will not section at the drop of a hat, it's a very serious situation depriving someone of their liberty so it may not be an option for you. My Mum did need it for her own safety. What about your Dad's state of mind? How is this? Could you suggest a night or two away to your Dad and then lengthen his respite once he's there? Perhaps an assessment is needed for both your Mum and Dad to see what can be done. It must be so hard for you all. x
     
  13. AliH1970

    AliH1970 Registered User

    May 22, 2015
    7
    Bromsgrove
    Hi SarahL, thanks for that response. He won't leave the house. Adamantly refuses. As a result, my mum's felt like a prisoner and has almost become a social recluse. He didn't like going out before, but I think he's scared of not being in the house now. Anyway, I had an urgent care assessment done by social services and as we already knew, they couldn't force him into respite, even though we pleaded with him that it was for the sake of mum's sanity. So I'm taking her away instead. We're popping away on holiday and leaving him with 4 carer visits a day. I bought a GPS tracker for him this morning and alerted my brother, who lives 1 1/2 hours away that he'd be the closest for 5 days. I have no idea how he'll cope, but the social worker didn't seem worried about us leaving him and the lady from the Alzheimer's Society said that lots of people use GPS trackers for this purpose. I feel awful, but lots of people seem to be looking after dad and respecting his wishes and noone seems to be looking out for mum, who has her own health problems and has been hospitalised 3 times this month already, mainly due to stress related things, so I'm removing her from the situation. I've never seen her so low.Heartbreaking.
    :(
     
  14. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,287
    SW London
    I don't think you should feel awful at all. You are looking after your poor mum because nobody else will. It is extraordinary how often it seems that elderly, utterly exhausted carers don't apparently matter, because they don't have dementia.
    What about when you return from your holiday? Will your mum not be quickly back to square one? Is there anyone she could go and stay with for a while? If it were me I think I would try to arrange something of the sort, and then tell SS very bluntly that she cannot do it any more, full stop - the ball is now in their court.
    Though this is easy for me to say, I know.
     
  15. AliH1970

    AliH1970 Registered User

    May 22, 2015
    7
    Bromsgrove
    Hi, I think there's a small light at the end of the tunnel on our return, as prior to last week we'd arranged 3 sitting visits a week from the Alzheimer's Society home team, but it hadn't had time to kick in before Dad went into hospital last weekend. Apparently they came yesterday and took him into the garden and Mum managed to go and see a friend nearby for a bit. She seemed brighter because of it, so I'm hoping that the break next week and these visits will give her the chance to get some "me time". I think the key is to see if he can manage next week without live-in care (which he also doesn't want) and then if he can, we can plan other little breaks for her, without feeling so much stress. If she has things to look forward to, she manages a lot better, as anyone would. Feeling more positive this morning :eek:)

    I'm looking forward to testing out the GPS tracker in my other half later!

     
  16. AliH1970

    AliH1970 Registered User

    May 22, 2015
    7
    Bromsgrove
    I'm also going to talk to her next week about doing things a different way, for example, not sitting in the same room with him every hour of every day, letting the carers make his meals, phoning her friends more, restarting her crafts etc. She kind of exists in his rut and can get out of it now, but sometimes needs to be given permission to do that, if that makes any sense. Dad was always the one who made decisions you see, so she's had the best part of 60 years not really being in control of her own destiny and I'm going to give her that permission.

     
  17. SarahL

    SarahL Registered User

    Dec 1, 2012
    229
    That is good news AliH, so pleased you have decide to remove your Mum from the situation and give her a break. Also the plan for her to function independently of him is an excellent one, she has a right to her life too and some enjoyment aside from all the care, which is becoming just too much. She has a wonderful support in you by the sounds of things. I do hope you are able to keep up little breaks away for her and that your Dad gets more outside support. It's a terribly hard juggling act. Have a lovely holiday with your Mum.
     
  18. AliH1970

    AliH1970 Registered User

    May 22, 2015
    7
    Bromsgrove
    Thank you so much for your kindness! xxx
    :)
     
  19. Aleis

    Aleis Registered User

    Aug 8, 2013
    9
    Thank you, I have only just found these replies! Having a particularly difficult time with mum arguing with me over the carers cooking her meals, she is saying she can manage (which she can't!). Its 02.56am and its going round and round my head!
     
  20. Aleis

    Aleis Registered User

    Aug 8, 2013
    9
    Thank you, have only just seen your reply. Yes I do try to use this idea and she has gone along with it so far. However, she now thinks she is able to cook for herself (she isn't) and is getting resentful of the carers coming to cook for her.
     

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